All I see is Signs.. All I see is Delta Signs

July 11th – July 17th was the 51st National Convention of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. It is absolutely no secret that I am a Legacy of a Founder of Delta Sigma Theta and I say that with such great pride because Delta didn’t come to me as a fondness for a group of women but rather it came to me through family history and stories shared around the dinner table.  There is the history you can find on the National Website, then there is a history sang in proud chants and what not – debates among other black Sororities, but one thing I know for sure, because not only did my Great-Grandmother co-found Delta Sigma Theta, she married a younger man who was a professor at Howard, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the advisor to the chapter at Howard University, Beta Chapter: Delta Sigma Theta was not founded by disgruntled women who did not make the cut for the only Black Sorority in existence, founded in 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha – in fact it was quite the opposite. And I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone who belongs to any other sorority in the Divine 9 because my history has taught me to love all other sororities because we each have a purpose… [and in fact I also belong to another Co-ed Service Fraternity] but anyway, The 22 founders of Delta Sigma Theta were members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. AKA was a group of women, a sorority that was founded and took a name similar to their counterpart Alpha Phi Alpha and would serve as a “sweetheart” group of sorts to assist the men in planning their social gatherings and be the group of women who would support the fraternity in an era where you would have to accept gentleman callers requests and if you wanted to go on a date, you would have to be chaperoned; I mean what better way to meet men!  However, in a Chapter meeting one day of the young undergrads at Howard, it was decided that they wanted to rename the sorority and change the letters and all symbols to reflect more of a social action mission since this was the year that Women’s Suffrage was coming to the forefront. What better way to capture the attention of people by choosing a bolder color to stand out from the crowd: so instead of Pink and Green – Crimson and Cream were selected.. and the rest is history. I am proud of a women who decided it was better to serve all women and her country through social action. We kicked off our Centennial Year remembering those actions, and reenacted the March on Washington for Women’s Suffrage and this entire Convention this past week we celebrated the many accomplishments of our sorority as Delta Sigma Theta is now the largest Black Sorority in the world. With over 40,000 active Deltas who registered for Convention, we took D.C. by STORM! There was Crimson and Cream every where.. I will share with you some highlights of what I participated in. Day One First things first, D.C. honored the Sorority by renaming the street that houses the headquarters of Delta Sigma Theta by renaming it Delta Sigma Theta Way. [it is kind of funny because on the same block is another sorority’s headquarters, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority – their president made it clear that they will not be accepting any Z Phi B mail addressed to DST Way. LOL] 

We went to Howard University, my alma mater, where a new stained glass window honoring Delta Sigma Theta was dedicated and installed in the historic Andrew Rankin Chapel.
We left the chapel and travelled behind it to a space called “The Valley”… interestingly enough, the Valley is called that at Howard because its where all the science buildings are. It is short for Death Valley. Because if you ever want to graduate, you have to take a class from these buildings in one of the sciences and it is NOT easy – trust me.  It is also the location of the founding of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
Since the National Convention it is now renamed, “Fortitude Plaza” in honor of the Delta Symbol of Fortitude that is planted right in the middle of it.
It has been expanded to include markers for each founder of Delta Sigma Theta .
If you ever go, my Great Grandmothers Marker is at the foot of the Fortitude Statue
Day Two
Mom and I got up to head to the Lincoln Memorial where Delta Sigma Theta held their Public Meeting. It is the one meeting that is open to the public where all the other sororities and fraternities’ Presidents come to celebrate with us and we get to have a concert and enjoy the kick off of the convention before the business sessions begin.
Rain or Shine, we were out there!

My mom even learned how to do the Wobble. She said it was the one line dance that always eluded her. She got really good at it too… Mind you, I could not help but to die laughing the entire time that she was learning her lesson.
Musical Guests this year for Public Meeting were : Brandy

and Doug E. Fresh

We left the Lincoln Memorial and it was time for Revival.
We hold a church service also prior to the Convention just so we cover our convention and sorors in prayer. 30 years ago when my mother became National Chaplain at a National Convention in Dallas, TX, there was a plane crash. On that plane was Sorors who were travelling to convention. Needless to say, it was a cloud of sadness over the convention that needed to be lifted – thus the Friday Night Revival was born.

Musical Guests included Jonathan Nelson

We left there, and it was time for the Step Show! (are you tired yet, because my pregnant self sure was as each event was at a different venue).

It was hosted by Nephew Tommy of The Steve Harvey Morning Show (member of Kappa Alpha Psi) and Kym Whitley of Raising Whitley (soror of Delta Sigma Theta)

Definitely was SO much fun – lots of work, but indeed a lot of fun…
Stay tuned for more.

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